Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. Each of us are on our own INDIVIDUAL journey in life. Through talking to many others about their transition to health, without attaching any labels, it has been a common occurrence that a particular event or experience has usually triggered a change in ones lifestyle. Personally I am no different as my own journey kicked off from that first moment I knew I was pregnant and then lifted a notch once my partner and I found out our daughter had multiple allergies.
Each of our bodies are different and a food diet that may work for one may not work for another. Take the time to invest love into your body and your body will love you back. Listen and get to know how your body feels and also watch how your children’s behaviour changes with different foods to know what is right for you and them.
I am thrilled to have Nicole English be my next guest blogger sharing her personal transition to a raw vegan lifestyle and a wonderful Mixed Berry Tart with French Vanilla Coconut Cream. Nicole, a mother of 5, nutritionist, raw food specialist, photographer and writer, who dazzles many with her wonderful raw treats and eats via Instagram @rawkiwi and blog http://www.rawkiwi.com Learning how others made their transition and their personal milestones achieved helps each and every one of us to continue on our own path. Sometimes easier or harder then others however understanding that keeping focused is imperative.
Thank you very much for having me as a guest in your virtual home. My road to health and raw food was definitely not linear. According to my mother I first showed an interest in vegetarianism from around the age of seven. I remember not wanting to eat meat because it just seemed gross to me, but for a long time my actions did not equal my idealism. My parents definitely did not hold the same viewpoint and to be fair to them, there wasn’t a lot of good information to access on eating a healthy, plant-based diet in the 1970s. As much as it grossed me out I continued to eat meat for a lot longer than I desired. My teenage years were all about fitting in, where I came from (New Zealand) being a vegetarian was not cool, and being vegan was on par with Neil from The Young Ones. Health and veganism coincided with becoming a parent. Until this point I lived a fairly hedonistic existence.
From the around the age of 18 to the end of my 20s I spent a lot of time flip, flopping between vegetarianism, bacon burgers and as much alcohol as possible. As with most people things change a lot once you begin having a family. From your first pregnancy you become very aware of your own mortality, and the fact that your life no longer revolves around your own needs. Obviously the partying had to stop and I began to look at food as nutrition rather than comfort. My focus was more on my new baby and the next one growing in my belly, not really my own health. After having two babies so quickly together I began looking into vegan detox and weight loss programs. I felt good for awhile but there was no real reason for me to stick it and the lure of cheesecake and other dairy products kept calling me back. I considered it a diet and not something I should adapt my life to.
The turning point came about once our second child was diagnosed with autism. Like most mothers in my situation I had a desperate need to research like a crazy person about autism and all the health-related issues.
Researching autism and unconventional diets led me onto the benefits of wholefood plant-based diets and ultimately raw food. I was intrigued by the stories of healing from various diseases and in particular many cancers. Having a very extensive family history of cancer, I was instantly turned onto the concept. Over the years of eating a high raw diet there have been lots of trial and errors. I’ve experimented a lot with myself to find the right fit for my body and lifestyle. I do enjoy eating a high fruit diet for most of the year but it isn’t always practical nor easy. Our children love raw food but they don’t eat that way as a rule. They love smoothies of all kinds (even the green ones) and of course most of the raw desserts and treats but they know their own minds and are quite often drawn to the way their father eats as well.
I’m lucky I’ve been able to obtain the knowledge to give our five children a solid foundation on which to thrive, and protect them from the many cancers that run through out my extended family. The world is much different to the one in which I was raised and there is no excuse to say we didn’t know this or that. There has never been a better time to access information.
Living this way and eating a mostly raw diet has changed my life completely. It has given me a sense of calm that I’d never experienced before. My health has improved and I have a lot more energy. I would say that it enabled me to strip back the layers of myself that I had been covered with addictive foods like dairy, and well as alcohol and other substances over many years. I like and accept myself in away I didn’t before I committed to a vegan lifestyle. Eating a high raw diet has given me many tools and gifts which I really enjoy sharing with anyone looking to expand not only their health but also their own potential.
Mixed Berry Tart With French Vanilla Coconut Cream
by Nicole English
- 1 Cup Almonds
- 1 Cup Walnuts
- 15 soft dates, pitted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla paste
French Vanilla coconut cream
- 1 400ml can of pure organic coconut milk, (kept in the fridge for at least 48 hours.)
- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract or paste
- Medley of fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
- Make the crust by blending the nuts and the vanilla paste, adding the dates one at a time until the mixture results in a crumbly, sticky consistency. Press firmly into a large, lined flan tin and store in the fridge.
- Next open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the thick, solid layer of coconut fat. Transfer this into a bowl with the vanilla and very quickly whip into a stiff peak. Spread onto the tart and top with fresh fruit.
- Serve immediately.